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Missouri Hoops Goes 3-1 in Italy Tour

The Missouri Tigers lost their final game in Italy on Saturday.

The University of Missouri basketball team wrapped up its tour of Italy with an 86-80 loss to the Kosovo National Team on Saturday. 

The Tigers finished their four-game exhibition tour with a 3-1 record, though the wins and losses overseas weren’t nearly as important as the goal of the young squad getting to play and bond together in advance of the 2016-17 season. 

“I’m encouraged by how we played as a team, but also from how our guys carried themselves,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said in a press release. “The practices back home, followed up by good competitive games against unfamiliar opponents, are an excellent teaching tool within the team-building experience of being on a foreign tour together. Guys stepped up on this trip that did not think they would, and we had other guys learn what it takes to make an impact at this level.”

Sophomore guard Terrence Phillips led the way again in the Tigers’ loss on Saturday. He scored a team-high 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting and added eight rebounds and six assists. 

Senior forward Russell Woods had a big day with 16 points and 14 rebounds, including nine offensive boards. Sophomore guard Cullen VanLeer scored 11 points and knocked down three 3-pointers. 

Freshman forward Willie Jackson grabbed 10 rebounds off the bench and freshman guard Frankie Hughes scored nine points off the bench.

The Tigers had some consistent performers throughout their trip. 

VanLeer, who started every game, averaged a team-high 13.8 points per game over the four games and made 14 of 30 3-point attempts (46.7 percent), all team highs. 

Phillips averaged 11.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals per game. 

The freshmen teammates from Cleveland, Hughes and Jackson, averaged 11.5 and 11.3 points, respectively. Jackson also averaged a team-high 9.5 rebounds per game. 

Woods averaged 9.3 points and 7 rebounds per game. 

Sophomore forward Kevin Puryear and sophomore guard K.J. Walton both started every game in Italy, along with Phillips, VanLeer and Woods. Puryear averaged 9 points and 4.3 rebounds, while Walton averaged 8 points and 5 rebounds per game. 

Sophomore guard Jordan Geist, a JUCO transfer, averaged 5.8 points per game off the bench. Freshman forward Mitchell Smith averaged 2.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. 

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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